Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Aurangabad is an ancient city situated in the western region of India. Spread over an area of approximately 138.5 sq km, the city falls on the northern side of Maharashtra. Aurangabad stands on the banks of the Kham River, surrounded by wooded hills on all the four sides. A historical city, it is known for its rich cultural legacy and its splendid historic monuments, which speak volumes about its royal past. Infact, the city once formed a very important seat of Mughal Empire, though for a very short period.

As we look into the past of the Aurangabad city, we find that it was initially under the rule of the Mauryan rulers. Infact, they were the ones to introduce Buddhism in this part of the country. The numerous Buddhist cave temple seen in and around the city, serve as a proof of the advent as well as flourishing state of Buddhism here. Amongst them, the popular ones are those of Ajanta and Ellora, situated very close to Aurangabad. Satvahana and Rashtrakuta rulers also contributed to the construction of marvelous temples in the city.

When the talk is about Aurangabad's history, how can one forget the role of the Mughal rulers? The city was founded in the year 1610 and came up on the site of a 'Khirki' village, which was ruled over by Malik Ambar, a local Muslim noble. After him, his son took over the reins of the village and renamed it as Fatehpur in 1626. The hamlet went into the hands of Emperor Aurangzeb, the last Mughal Emperor, in 1653 and was renamed by him as 'Aurangabad'. Thereafter, the city became his capital and started moving forward on the path of development.

After Mughals, the historical city came under the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad and continued to be ruled by him until 1948. Thereafter, it was combined with the other cities to form the state of Maharashtra. Today, Aurangabad claims a significant chunk of the travel & tourism industry of Maharashtra. The splendid monuments of the city reminds one of the Mughal era it has witnessed. Sites like Aurangabad Caves, Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, etc have contributed to its popularity. Whenever you in Maharashtra, make sure to visit Aurangabad and lose yourself in the historical charm of the city.

Places to See:

Aurangabad Caves lie nestled in a valley, between Sihyachal and Satara hill ranges. Dating back to somewhere around the 2nd - 3rd century, these caves serve as the proof of the flourishing Buddhist settlement in Maharashtra during that time.

Bibi Ka Maqbara is a magnificent mausoleum, situated at a distance of approximately 5 km from the Aurangabad city of India. It entombs Rabia-ul-Daurani, alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The construction work on the mausoleum was started in the year 1651.


One of the major attractions of Aurangabad is Panchakki, which literally means 'Water Mill'. Indeed, it a mill in the city that receives water from an underground channel, with its source being 6 km away in the mountains. An artificial waterfall has been created near the mill, through which this water is discharged on to the wheel.

The other attractions of Panchakki comprise of a lush green garden and a beautiful fountain. The water tanks of the fountain are filled with fish and are a hit amongst kids. Situated near the mill is the tomb of Baba Shah Muzaffar, a Sufi Saint who served as the spiritual adviser of Emperor Aurangzeb.

Jama Masjid 
The Jama Masjid of Aurangabad is very popular amongst tourists. The mosque was constructed under the patronage of Emperor Aurangzeb and is located in Killa Arrack. Encircled by groves, it has a low building that stands adorned with slender minarets and a broad band. The band has been inscribed with Koranic inscriptions that have been carved through the length of the portico.

Chauk Masjid 
Chauk Masjid is another splendid mosque situated in Aurangabad. It was built by Shayista Khan, the uncle of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the year 1665. This masjid has been embellished with five beautiful domes.

Lal Masjid 
Lal Masjid is located in the old city area of Aurangabad. The mosque is a red-painted basalt building that dates back to the year 1655.

There are three museums in the city of Aurangabad, through which one can glimpse into its art legacy. These museums include Sunheri Mahal Museum, University Museum and Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a beautiful place . nice blog with all information neeeded ! thank you rajasthan tour packages


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